Next week marks the start of winter and also the last month of what has surely been the most bizarre financial year in history. June 30 is a deadline for a whole range of things, so in this article we want to remind you of some of them. As the weather has gotten colder, why not make yourself a nice warm drink and read on. It might just make you some money.
Super – Contributions Going In
For most taxpayers, either they or their employer can claim a tax deduction for concessional contributions worth up to $25,000 per financial year. This $25,000 can be a combination of employer contributions (typically 9.5% of salary or wages, unless you ‘sacrifice’ a greater amount) and personal contributions. So, if you have some spare cash lying around, you might want to consider making a personal contribution to your super fund between now and June 30.
Concessional contributions are taxed at 15% in your fund but you get a tax deduction at your marginal tax rate. So, if that rate is higher than 15%, you end up with more in the fund.
In addition to $25,000 of concessional contributions, you can also contribute up to an extra $100,000 of ‘non-concessional contributions.’ These contributions are not taxed in the fund and you do not receive a tax deduction for making them. But you do get the advantage of having your wealth accumulate within the superannuation system. For many people, this means they ‘losing’ less from their investment earnings as tax over the years, while also enjoying other benefits such as asset protection.
The annual limit of $100,000 per person for non-concessional contributions can also be spread over a few years under what are known as ‘bring-forward’ rules. This can allow for a larger, irregular amount such as an inheritance or the proceeds of an asset sale to be moved into super all at once.
Speaking of non-concessional contributions, people who earn 10% or more of their income from employment may receive up to $500 as a Government ‘co-contribution’ if they make a non-concessional contribution. These co-contributions can be received by people aged 70 or younger. The co-contribution is calculated as 50% of the amount you contribute, up to a limit of $500. People with income of less than $38,565 can receive the full co-contribution. For income above this, the co-contribution tapers out. If your income is above $53,563, you won’t receive anything as a co-contribution.
The government is not the only other ‘person’ who can help with your super. If you have an eligible spouse, they can help provide a super benefit as well. If your spouse earns less than $40,000 and you make a non-concessional contribution into their super account, you may qualify for a tax offset of up to $540. This might not be enough to justify a marriage (formal or de facto), but you have a spouse already why not put that person to good financial use!
Super – Pensions Coming Out
If you receive a pension from your super fund, then you must withdraw a minimum amount each year. As we reported recently, due to COVID-19 the Commonwealth has allowed people to withdraw less than the full minimum amount in the current and next financial years. This may help you avoid selling assets within your superfund to finance the full pension payment for this year and next.
That said, you do need to have withdrawn this ‘new minimum’ before June 30.
Super – Special Withdrawal
As we also reported a few weeks ago, the Commonwealth have allowed people negatively affected by COVID-19 to withdraw up to $10,000 from their super before June 30. After June 30, those people who qualify can withdraw up to another $10,000 if they wish (or a ‘first’ $10,000 if they did not make a withdrawal before June 30).
Special rules apply and these withdrawals do not suit everyone. It would be a good idea to talk to us before removing any money from super, to make sure it really is in your best interests to do so.
This financial year has generally not been kind to investors. It may be that your portfolio is sitting on some unrealised losses. These can be useful in tax planning, so think about whether you can reduce the loss through some timely tax planning and asset management before June 30.
Your own business is a special kind of asset. Typically, at this time of year it can make sense to see if you can legitimately ‘time’ the receipt of income for optimal tax benefit. Often, the idea here is to defer income into the coming financial year (and thus defer the tax payable on that income as well). But this year things may be a bit different. If business income is down for this year, there may be a benefit in bringing income forward into a relatively low-income year. This is a kind of ‘long-term’ year end planning, where the benefit will be had after the 2020/2021 year.
Prepaying expenses (that is, bringing an expense into the current year) is often a good idea. But this year, the reverse might be true, for the same reasons we discuss above. You may want to push expenses to next year where the tax benefit may be greater.
Asset purchases within businesses are also something to consider at this time. Generally, a small business can ‘write-off’ purchases worth up to $30,000 per asset in the year of purchase. This year the limit has been raised to $150,000 per eligible asset. So, eligible assets bought by small businesses before June 30 can be written off in the 2019/2020 tax return.
Property investors are a lot like business owners when it comes to prepaying expenses. So, the comments above are also relevant here: think about whether you want to bring expenses forward into the current year or, conversely, defer them to next financial year.
As you can see, what you do between now and June 30 will depend a lot on how the last eleven months have treated you financially. For many people, their end of financial year planning for 2019/2020 will be quite different to previous years. If you are unsure about any aspect of your year end financial management, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us so that we can talk through the issues and opportunities with you.